If you were looking for clarity on anything in terms of policy and/or geopolitics, today was most assuredly not your day.
See if you can divine anything that even approximates a coherent message from these soundbites from a presser Trump held on Monday afternoon with Mitch McConnell:
— Bloomberg (@business) October 16, 2017
President Trump on drug companies: "They contribute massive amounts of money to political people, I don't know Mitch, maybe even to you." pic.twitter.com/qWirAIVwfj
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 16, 2017
"Hillary, please run again," Trump says, following Hillary Clinton's criticism of him on Twitter today https://t.co/rhq6mKLxTU
— CNN (@CNN) October 16, 2017
Trump on soldiers killed in Niger: "President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls … I call when it's appropriate." pic.twitter.com/sgj5iEuDhz
— Axios (@axios) October 16, 2017
"Look, the whole Russian thing was an excuse for the Democrats losing the election," Pres. Trump says of probe on Russian interference. pic.twitter.com/kzogCwkDH8
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 16, 2017
Again, if you can explain exactly what it is he was trying to communicate in all of that please do send us an e-mail, because we would love to hear someone attempt to tie all of it together.
Stocks held up fine because they’re stocks and stocks don’t fall. The Russell underperformed (again).
USDJPY went nuts as machines and human beings battled it out to see who could make sense of conflicting headlines about North Korea which hit just as Trump was in mid-ramble and also as the wires were lighting up with news about Taylor and Yellen:
Treasurys were similarly choppy around the Taylor chatter, but ultimately it’s worth panning out for some context with the CPI miss on Friday:
Gold moved lower midday and the decline accelerated just as the Taylor headlines hit:
As far as the Fed goes, here are the latest betting odds:
Our money is still on dark horse candidate Krusty:
Spanish stocks fell after Catalan President Carles Puigdemont basically refused to clarify whether he has or hasn’t declared independence. That means he’s got until Thursday to un-declare whatever it is he hasn’t declared or else Madrid will do something, although it’s not 100% clear what just yet.
This is the third straight day of losses for Spanish equities.
Oil rose on jitters about the possible impact the conflict between Baghdad and Erbil could have on supply. We got a couple of assurances that flows won’t be meaningfully interrupted, but needless to say, there’s no way to know that for sure. U.S. officials sought to downplay the clashes between government forces and allied militias on one side and the Peshmerga on the other.
Trump said he’s not going to take a side, probably because he has no idea what a “Kurd” even is. “We don’t like the fact that they’re clashing,” he told reporters on Monday. He actually said that. “Chuck” gets it though:
Every ounce of energy & resources the Iraqi govt & the Kurdish Peshmerga spend fighting each other should instead be spent fighting ISIS.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) October 16, 2017
PPI and CPI data out overnight continued to support the idea that China’s economy is holding up well although there are questions about how sustainable that will ultimately prove to be following the Party Congress.
“The economy has pretty strong momentum now, monetary policy remained loose ahead of the 19th Party Congress, and the environmental cleanup has cut the supply of commodities,” Shen Jianguang, chief Asia economist at Mizuho said, before cautioning that “this is not sustainable. Deleveraging will be moving up on the agenda after the congress.”
The Nikkei was up for an absurd 10th day in a row, as investors position ahead of Sunday’s election which isn’t expected to bring anything in the way of change that would adversely affect markets.
“People are looking for a reason why the Japanese equity market is so bullish but there isn’t one single reason, it’s lots of reasons all adding up,” Hong-Kong based Andrew Clarke, director of trading at Mirabaud Asia Ltd. said overnight, adding that “we are well on our way to 25,000 in six months time or less.”
This should go without saying, but this is just people making things up at this point. There’s no rhyme or reason to these predictions anymore. For whatever it’s worth, here’s some historical precedent for the Nikkei around elections:
Oh, and there’s a bull market in “BTFD” stories…